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Achieving LOw-LAtency in Wireless Communications (LOLA)

A short overview of the LOLA project, funded by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme.

Reviewed : 27th and 28th of June 2013 with an excellent assessment (see LOLA Final Review)

Finished : March 2013

Funded by: EU FP7 (2010-2013)

Coordinator: EURECOM, France

Project summary: The focus of LOLA is on access-layer technologies targeting low-latency robust and spectrally-efficient transmission in a set of emerging application scenarios. We consider two basic types of wireless networks, namely long-range LTE-Advanced Cellular Networks and medium-range rapidly-deployable mesh networks. Research on low-latency transmission in cellular networks is focused firstly on transmission technologies in support of gaming services which will undoubtedly prove to be a strategic revenue area for operators in the years to come. Secondly, we also consider machine-to machine (M2M) applications in mobile environments using sensors connected to public infrastructure (in trains, busses, train stations, utility metering, etc.). M2M is an application area of extremely high growth potential in the context of future LTE-Advanced networks. A primary focus of the M2M research is to provide recommendations regarding PHY/MAC procedures in support of M2M to the 3GPP standardization process. The rapidly-deployable mesh topology component addresses M2M applications such as remote control and personnel/fleet tracking envisaged for future broadband civil protection networks. This work builds upon ongoing European research in this important area. Fundamental aspects of low-latency transmission are considered in addition to validation on real-time prototypes for s subset of the considered application scenarios. The cellular scenario validation is carried out using both live measurements from an HSPA test cell coupled with large-scale real-time emulation using the emulator for both high-performance gaming and M2M application. In addition, a validation testbed for low-layer (PHY/MAC) low latency procedures will be developed. The rapidly deployable wireless mesh scenario validation makes use of the real-time RF platform and the existing FP6 CHORIST demonstrator interconnected with commercial M2M equipment.

 Part B: LOLA_DOW_B1

Project Concept and Objectives: The purpose of LOLA is to provide significant technological advances in terms of minimizing end-to-end latency in wireless systems for low-latency application scenarios found in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and highly-interactive services such as gaming. As shown in figure below, the target network topologies and application areas are twofold

  1. Topology A: Highly-interactive IP-based two-way services on LTE/LTE-A networks,
  2. Topology B: Low and high-rate data communications for short-to-medium range rapidly-deployable wireless mesh networks.

Topology A applies to high-performance gaming applications, two-way machine-to-machine (M2M) applications for intelligent transport systems, remote surveillance and alert systems on top of 3G+/4G networks; while topology B applies mainly to application scenarios found in civil protection networks or industrial automation networks.


In LOLA we analyze and model M2M and online gaming traffic characteristics through measurements for a subset of scenarios, and study the impact of such traffic on transmission latency in order to design and prototype low-latency transmission techniques in the access network. In addition to fundamental aspects of low-latency transmission, two real-time validation platforms and one field trial are considered for a subset of the considered application scenarios.

Based on this traffic analysis study, LOLA project proposes a new approach and innovative techniques to support low-latency robust and spectrally-efficient transmission in set of real-time application scenarios.  When dealing with machine-type application combined with the standard application like VoIP and multimedia communication, the issue of resource management in presence of a high density of users (humans and, now, machines) in high loaded condition becomes a key factor. Moreover, the sparcity of some realtime M2M applications set new challenges to AMC design and scheduling, and in particular in the presence of relay or multiple hops among devices. Through low latency transmission, LOLA also addresses reduction in energy consumption for M2M devices. To this end, Lola project targets three major objectives

  1. Fundamental: innovations with respect to extremely low latency application
    • Definition  of scenarios and use-cases
    • Characterization and modeling of traffic
    •  PHY/MAC design : procedures,  algorithms, and scheduling 
  2. Experimental: Rapid prototyping based on existing open-source technology
    • Testbed 1 : Large-scale system emulator and traffic measurement testbench (PHY/MAC/L3)
    • Testbed 2 : Real-time Link validation platform (PHY)
    • Testbed 3 : rapidly-deployable mesh, full-system demonstrator with mini field-trial
  3. Standardization: Inputs to 3GPP and M2M Working Groups
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